David Whitaker is a partner in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller. He joined the firm in 2009 and practices in the labor and employment law group. David concentrates his practice in the defense of employment discrimination, harassment and other employment-related claims, advising employers on compliance with state and federal employment laws, drafting employment contracts, non-compete agreements and other employment-related agreements and policies. David also assists employers in obtaining work visas (including H-1B, L, TN visas) permitting employers to utilize skilled foreign workers in the United States and assists employers in the process of sponsoring foreign guest workers for employment-based permanent residence (green card) status. He also advises, counsels and trains employers regarding OSHA compliance and workplace safety issues.
He regularly advises employers with respect to compliance with state and federal wage payment requirements, including the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as the Davis-Bacon Act, which applies to employers performing work on certain federally funded construction projects. In January, 2015 Mr. Whitaker argued a Davis-Bacon case of national significance before the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board. The case concerns whether contractors are responsible for payment of employee lodging expenses on out-of-town projects. Mr. Whitaker also defended an employer in one of the first transgender employment discrimination lawsuits filed in the State of Louisiana. He also frequently advises employers on the proper handling of employee medical leaves, reasonable accommodations and related return to work issues arising under the Family Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.
He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Labor and Employment since 2013 and was selected for the City Business Leadership in Law Award for 2018.Representative Experience
- Representation of employers in all types of employment discrimination litigation
- Representation of employers in arbitration proceedings
- Training employer supervisors on equal employment opportunity and avoidance of workplace harassment claims
- Representation of employers in proceedings before governmental agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights and representation of employers during OSHA worksite inspections
- Representation of employers in Department of Labor wage and hour audits pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and defense of employers against individual and collective action wage and hour claims brought under state and federal law
- Representation of employers in the enforcement of non-compete agreements and litigation related to the protection of trade secrets and confidential information
David earned his B.S. from the University of New Orleans in 1988. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1991 and graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif.Admissions
- Admitted, Louisiana, 1991; United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- Employment Update: Tips on the Tip Credit and How to Avoid Sexual Harassment Claims, Kean Miller Hospitality Forum, New Orleans, October 2018
- Supreme Court's Epic Systems Decision an Opportunity for Employers to Revisit the Use of Mandatory Arbitration Agreements, Louisiana Law Blog, July 20, 2018
- EEOC Continues to Target Americans with Disabilities Act Return to Work Issues, Louisiana Law Blog, July 16, 2018
- Shh! Many companies dropping marijuana drug testing - still common for Louisiana's safety-sensitive jobs, The Advocate, June 17, 2018
- How the Supreme Court Arbitration Ruling Could Impact Civil Rights Cases, Workers and Employers, New Orleans CityBusiness, June 1, 2018
- Employment Law Update on Transgender, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, Kean Miller Client CLE Program, April 19, 2018
- Lawsuit Claiming that Employer Sought to Evade Obamacare Costs Leads to $7.4 million Class Action Settlement, Louisiana Law Blog, December 4, 2017
- Electronic Injury Reporting Requirement Delayed by OSHA (Again), Louisiana Law Blog, November 29, 2017
- Employers Face H-1B Work Visa Challenges in 2018, Louisiana Law Blog, November 29, 2017
- Hot Topics in Labor and Employment Law, LMGMA Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 2013.
- What Every Business Needs to Know About the Fair Labor Standards Act, Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants, September 6, 7 and 8, 2011.
- Lorman Educational Services, "Interplay Between Core Employment Laws."
- Louisiana State Bar Association, "Navigating Complicated Leave Issues in 2009."
- Lorman Educational Services, "Reasonable Accommodation Issues Under the ADA."
- Lorman Educational Services, "Managing Employment Relationships in Louisiana."
- Lorman Educational Services, " Return to Work Issues in Worker's Compensation and Employment Law."
- Louisiana Medical Office Manager's Association Seminar, "Avoiding Pitfalls Under the Fair Labor Standards Act."
- Council on Education in Management, "Intermittent Leave Under the Family Medical Leave Act."
- Loyola University Labor & Employment Law Conference, "Ethics Issues in Employment Litigation."
- Loyola University Labor & Employment Law Conference, "Sexual Harassment Since Faragher, Ellerth and Indest: Liability, Defenses and Strategies."(presentation regarding latest developments in the area of sex harassment liability)